Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Emese Vitalis, PhD

Second Advisor

Shanavia Dansby, PsyD

Third Advisor

Tara Fullmer, PsyD


Memory and recall play an essential role in determining convictions in cases of eyewitness testimony. Eyewitnesses can appear confident in their statements, yet one’s memory and recall of a witnessed event can become distorted or manipulated in the process given that it is highly susceptible to various errors, biases, and misleading information such as suggestive questions. The purpose of this study was to further examine how two types of recall (i.e., cued and free) effect eyewitness testimony. In this study, 43 participants read a hypothetical case vignette of a murder crime scene; they were then randomly put into either a cued recall or free recall group. All participants were asked a series of suggestive questions pertaining to the crime vignette in order to measure and compare memory accuracy and confidence ratings between the two recall groups. The findings of this study indicated that while there was no significant difference between the number of details remembered from the crime vignette by the two recall groups, participants in the cued recall group made more mistakes than participants in the free recall group. Participants in the cued recall group were also slightly more likely to say “yes” to the suggestive questions than participants in the free recall group. Overall, the findings of this study indicate that cued recall may not take precedence over free recall when assessing memory in the context of eyewitness testimony, despite a vast amount of literature highlighting the opposite, yet some studies have suggested the same.